Apple user guide to android


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Rescue Squad
Dec 23, 2009
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Good guide by milominderbinder on AC forums.

Apple User's Guide to Android - Android Forums at

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Sample Android iPhone Theme Created with ADWLauncher
If you are new to Android Central, Welcome! You might already be a member of our sister site, TiPb. Android Central has the resources you need to make your switch over to Android fun.

With Android's 50% marketshare, almost every top iPhone app is available in the Android Market too. So, "There's an app for that." Fans argue over which phone has the best features but both can get the job done. Switching to Android is like driving a new car: everything is there but laid out a little differently. The next big thing is already here

The biggest difference between Apple and Google is philosophical. Apple takes a one-size-fits-all approach with one phone, one on-screen keyboard, one app store, and one MP3 market. Apple has no widgets, removable batteries, 4G, Notification LED, microSD, NFC, DLNA, visual voicemail, turn-by-turn navigation, or Flash to learn about. The quickest way to simplify something is to take out features and options. It is like a shoe store with one style shoe, only in size 7, once a year.

Android takes the opposite approach. Android phones come in every size and style from 2.5" to 5.3", with physical keyboards and without. There are 37 basic Android features still not in iPhones. Not all will be important to you but some will be. Plus you can change settings and customize your new Android almost any way you can imagine. The more features and options, the longer it takes to set up initially. We will walk you though setting your phone work just the way you want.

Android gives you freedom of choice over almost everything. But freedom, by its nature adds complexity. For many, it is a price happily paid.

So here is where to find your old features and a list of new things to try out. Have fun!


← Click the Getting Started button at the top of every page will take you to the Getting Started with Android - Tips and Tricks. There is help for everything including Keyboards, Applications, and more.


Speed Thrills
Make sure you get 4G (or LTE). Monthly plans are often just as much for slow phones as fast ones. You may have this phone a long time. Don't get one that is already slow. To To turn 4G on:
• Tap Home > Menu > Settings > Wireless > 4G.
• To add a 4G icon to a home screen: Long-press an empty spot on a home screen then tap Shortcuts > Settings > 4G.


Get the size that is right for you

What is the Right Size Phone? Only you can answer that question. Android phone comes in sizes from 2.5" to 5.3".
A survey of 5,000 phone woners found that Only 9% Want a Screen Under 4". As you might guess that is about how many who wear Men's Small or Women's XS gloves or smaller. See what feels right for you. Don't let anyone tell you the one size phone you are to buy. See the Sizing Chart: What is the Right Size Phone?


Gmail is at the heart of Android's Cloud Sync and once you are on Android, Apples limitations are removed. You will get notifications when gmail is pushed to your phone, full Priority Inbox capabilities, and can forward multiple email accounts to your Gmail.



Your Contacts and Calendars
You need a Gmail account if you don't already have one to transfer over your calendars, contact names, birthdays, email addresses, and phone numbers. Sync your iPhone/iPad with Google if you haven't already (details):
1. Connect your iPhone/iPad to your PC using the USB cable.
2. Open iTunes on your computer and select your iPhone or iPad and click the iTunes Info tab.
3. Check "Sync Contacts with" then select Google Contacts from the drop-down menu.
4. Tap Configure and enter your Google email address and password.
Here are more details from Google on syncing Outlook and using the Google Sync program (Help). You can also sync your Iphone to Google directly from your iPhone.


Sync to the Cloud
Android syncs to the cloud. On your phone tap Menu > Settings > Accounts & Sync > Add account > Google > Contacts, Gmail, Calendar, etc. Then add Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other account syncs as well. Most Androids can sync to all of these accounts automatically. When someone changes their home phone on Facebook, your phone will be updated as well.


Your Photos and Videos
1. Backup the photos and videos to your computer using the USB cable if you haven't already:
- - On a Windows PC, Click My Computer > {your iPhone} > Explore. Drag all of your photos and videos to a new folder on your PC.
- - On a Mac, open Image Capture and set up a new folder as the destination and click Download all.
2. Copy photos and videos from your PC to your Android: Connect your Android to your PC with the USB cable.
- - On your computer, create a folder on your phone called Pictures if it is not already there.
- - Sill using your computer, drag the photos and videos to your phone's Picture folder then disconnect your phone.
3. Reboot the phone: Press Power for 10 seconds > Power Off > Wait 20 seconds > Press Power for 10 seconds.


Your Music

You no longer have to use iTunes! (You still can if you like.) Use the steps above to set up a Music folder on your phone if you don't already have one and drag your music files and folders (copies) from your computer to your phone. Here are some of our favorite Music Players: PowerAMP (Full:$5), Google, Winamp, Meridian (Full:$4), and TuneWiki.

Android Multitasking automatically saves your work when you go to another app. You can start an email, start a text, open a web page, listen to music, and you can go right back where you left off in the email. Long-press Home to see your Recent Apps.


Notification LED
Apple does not have a Notification LED for incoming or missed calls, emails, texts, Facebook or calendar events, etc. Most Androids not only have a Notification LED but the Flashlight Alerts app can also turn the camera LED into a notification LED.


A microSD card is about $50 for 32GB. 16GB microSD costs $20 or less. Get a "Class 10" microSD to make sure it is fast. The 64GB microSD cards have already been announced for 2012.


Removable Battery
Android replacement batteries are typically $30-$50. For most Androids, you can pop off the back cover and put in a spare battery. Better yet, get an extended life battery.



Widgets show live information on-screen without opening the app. You can have widgets for weather, email, calendars, and almost anything else. Here are some favorites:
Tajm - The amazing clock widget in words instead of numbers shown above.

Battery Status (free, Upgraded $1) - Puts the real battery percentage in the Notification Bar.
The Weather Channel - Puts the temperature in the Notification bar.
Battery Left Widget - Estimates battery time left.
Today Widget - Day and date in a 1x1 widget. ($1 Pro version has color options)


Full Facebook Integration
Facebook sync really works on most Androids. Android owners take for granted that friend's photos, status, messages, phones, events, birthdays, emails, and notifications are automatically updated from Facebook. Incoming calls pop-up with updated Facebook profile photos.



Get the Rest of the Apps
You can now also have the full version of Google Goggles to identify places, products, books, barcodes, and translates text in a photo and solve Sudoku puzzles. Plus you can have the full version of Google Voice to Make cheap international calls, send texts for free, read voicemail transcripts, and more.


Don't just backup, share
Apple's iCloud lets iPhone users backup information. But the point of a document is to share it. Dropbox (referral link for 2.25GB for free) lets you backup files for instant use on almost any smartphone or computer, not just Apples. But more importantly, you can share your documents with others.


Let's Work Together
Google Docs let anyone you chose edit files on almost any PC or smartphones including Androids and BlackBerry's as well as iPhones, iPad's, and Macs.


Try before you buy
The Android Market gives you 15 minutes to try out an app on your phone to see if the options and features are right for you. If not, uninstall it for a full refund. Apple still gives no application trials but you have them now!


Notifications done right
Apple's new iOS 5 Notifications brings some features of Android's Notifications and the Android Executive Assistant app to iOS 5. As a first attempt, Apple has done well but Executive Assistant offers so much more control over repeating notifications, ringtones, vibrations, etc. Take a look. See Notifications for more.


Much of the web including this site rely on Adobe Flash for multimedia but Apple does not allow a Flash app on the iPhone. Unfortunately the HTML5 standard to replace Flash is still not finalized. But you will have Flash now.


Unless you Jailbreak an iPhone (and break your warranty), you can't easily change themes or icons. But with apps like ADW.Launcher it is easy to make your Android look like an iPhone or anything else. Here is a simple way to change icons and the wallpaper to look like the iPhone 4S like the example in the screen shot at the top.


Shop wherever you want
Apple has the iTunes company store. The Android Market has endless apps too but that is just the beginning. Google allows you to have access to competing markets plus MyAppSharer lets you "share" your actual app files with a friend.


Free App of the Day
Here is another app you will never see on an iPhone. The Amazon Appstore offers thousands of apps at discount prices including the "Free App of the Day".


Paid Apps for free
Here is another great market to try. Getjar has a constantly changing assortment of normally paid apps for free including mature content.


No music store limits
You no longer need to buy music from iTunes. With Android you can buy music from Google or you can opt for a number of competitors. Amazon MP3 for instance offers almost every song available, typically for about 30% less than iTunes.


Music for free
MP3 Music Download has nearly every song as well...for free.



Real Live Wallpaper
Live Wallpaper is animated. The Earth rotates, thunder storms, fish swim, snow swirls, raindrops slide down your screen, and robots fly. It's fun to see how the Live Wallpaper responds to your touch or movements.


True Hands-free
The iPhone Siri app requires you to push buttons to use it. Vlingo can turn on and operate totally from your voice. Still Siri has included many of Vlingo's other features and was an important step for Apple. How to use Vlingo is below.


The iPhone 4S has Limited GPS Navigation and no turn-by-turn directions. With Android, turn-by-turn navigation is included for free.



Visual Voicemail

Most flagship Android phones come with Visual Voicemail that lets you see the caller's photo when you play their message (Oh, that's who that is!). The iPhone still does not. In addition, many Androids will show you their updated Facebook photo and Status when you look at their voicemail. See Visual Voicemail for details. Tap here to see a sample.


Mega Pixel Front Cameras
Most flagship Android phones today have 1 or 2MP front cameras which allows true HD video chat.


3G and 4G Video Calls
Along with the updated VGA front camera, Facetime video chat was to finally allow 3G. But the iPhone 4S is still limited to WiFi only. Android Qik, Skype and ooVoo give you free unlimited video calls over WiFi, 3G and 4G.

Mirror Video to TV's, not just Apple TV
iPhone 4S video mirroring streams the iPhone 4S's display to via Apple TV using AirPlay. But only 4% of the streaming video devices are compatible. Many Android devices offer DLNA that can work with Apple TV as well as almost any other Internet enabled TV, Blu-ray player, PS3, Xbox, etc.


More than just an Apple Newsstand
The Apple Newsstand is an iPhone folder for iTunes media subscriptions, typically costing $1 to $5 a month each. With Android, you can have a Newsstand folder for all of your media content. With so many free media apps in Android, you may not see a reason to pay for subscriptions. (How to create folders)


Find all of your friends
Apple Apple's Find my Friends app finds friends with iPhones excluding the 85% of your friends who have other phones. The Latitude feature in Google Maps lets you find friends with all different sorts of phones.


That icon is for the Swype keyboard holder of multiple World Texting Speed Records. Apple prohibits the use of any keyboard but their own, so no Swype. Android lets you use any Keyboard you like.

Predictive Keyboards
You can have a real predictive keyboard now. Keyboards like SwiftKey can be even faster for many users than Swype. SwiftKey users can easily break the world record because SwiftKey learns what you have typed once and then predicts your words.

Many thought that the new iPhone would have Near Field Communication (NFC) for instant payments, keycard, and ID like the Galaxy S II, but it didn't. Android NFC can share a contact, photo, song, application, and video or pair Bluetooth or WiFi devices. See the Google NFC Demo.


A Games Center for all of your games
The iPhone Game Center is for iTunes games. With Android you can also have a Game Center folder for all of your games from Android Market, Amazon, Getjar, and dozens of other sources.

LED Displays
The iPhone 4S LCD display is nice but Apple uses LED backlights that are always on with an LCD layer blocking light to produce colors. Organic LED phones like the Galaxy S II don't need backlights so blacks take almost no power because the LED's are off. Forbes says the iPhone will get an LED display but not this year.

Open Source
Apple iOS is Not Open Source. No one is licensed to modify the Apple keyboard, email, browser, contacts, or other Apple apps. Android is mostly Open Source. If a developer doesn't like a stock Android keyboard or other app, they can change it and re-release it back into the Android Market. Google uses licensing to reduce fragmentation so Android is not fully Open Source.


Bluetooth Mouse and Keyboards
← See that mouse pointer? The Galaxy S II lets you to connect a Bluetooth wireless mouse or keyboard. This along with HDMI mirroring allows easy control while on an monitor or HDTV. See this video showing USB Host, Bluetooth, and HDMI out from xda-developers. Android 4.0 will bring USB Host to more phones.

More Icons
You can place up to 16 apps per screen on an iPhone. The Android Folder Organizer (free) app lets you have 4x6, 5x6, or 5x7 icons per screen, with 20+ apps per folder. Plus you can change icons.

Try Out Some Apps
Here are a few more of the many Applications you may want to try.
Google Search and Google Voice Search must be installed for searches to work properly.
Flashlight: Turn your camera LED into a flashlight with an app like Tiny Flashlight.
Brightness Level lets you tap a preset brightness or set any brightness you like.
Email: K-9 Mail add many features. Corporate users: check out Exchange Touchdown Trial (Full $20) or RoadSync Trial (Full $10).
Messaging: Consider HandCent SMS or • ChompSMS to replace the messaging app
Browsers: Consider great options like Dolphin or • Opera
Lock screen: No Lock - Disables lock screen, phone opens fast. • Widget Locker ($2) lets you customize it.
Themes: ADW.Launcher (Tutorial, $3 full), LauncherPro ($3 full), GO Launcher EX ($0): change Icons, layout, and theme without rooting.
Facebook: Friendcaster (free, $5: no ads) expands options for Facebook notifications, events, contact & profile sync, photos, etc.
Backup: MyBackup Pro ($5) - Automatically backup messages, contacts, bookmarks, home screens, alarms, dictionary, etc. Trial.
Folders: Folder Organizer (free) - Sets up folders, change icons, and increase from 4x4 icons to 4x6 or even 5x6. See: Folders

So much more...
This is just the beginning. The Getting Started has help with a number of topics including, Settings, Email, Backups, Keyboards, Folders, Favorite Apps, Extending Battery Life, and much more.

Have fun and don't be afraid to ask any questions. - Milo